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A Custom Objectionable Word List Ate My Homework 386

Posted by timothy
from the george-carlin-would-need-a-longer-list dept.
theodp writes "Among the first three schools using Chromebooks for Education is the Merton Community School District, which decided to go Chromebook after the Wisconsin Dept. of Public Instruction (WDPI) issued a news release (created using PDFMaker for Word) announcing that all Wisconsin schools can have access to Google Apps for Education by simply downloading a Google Consent Form (Microsoft Word format, oddly) from the WDPI website, completing & signing it, and submitting it to Google. And to help get the schools going, a separate Wisconsin Google Apps for Education website aims to jumpstart things with weekly webinars, the first of which — Getting started with the Google Apps for Education Control Panel — shows school officials how they can sandbox 'Naughty Students' and filter objectionable content. While Google illustrates how a list of 'custom objectionable words' can be used to flag and/or block students' e-mail with some cute examples — different spellings of 'booger' and a regex to block variants like 'b00g3r' — things get considerably nastier in the real world, as this NSFW custom objectionable word list used by the North Canton City Schools shows."
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A Custom Objectionable Word List Ate My Homework

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 28, 2011 @07:36AM (#37233072)

    Can someone cut the extraneous crap and useless hyperlinks of this story and also re-edit so this is actually readable? I have no idea what the story is here.

    • by The Snowman (116231) on Sunday August 28, 2011 @07:46AM (#37233116) Homepage

      I have no idea what the story is here.

      Schools are censoring students using Google Docs. If you click the last link and log in to your Google account, you will see the list of words:

      anal anus arse ass asses asshole assholes asskisser asswipe ballsack bastard beastiality biatch bitch bitches bitchin bitching blowjob blowjobs boner boob boobies boobs bullshit bunghole buttface buttfuck buttfucker butthole buttplug circlejerk clit clitoris cock cocks cocksuck cocksucker cocksucking cum cumming cums cumshot cunilingus cunillingus cunnilingus cunt cuntlick cuntlicker cuntlicking cunts damn dick dike dildo dildos dipshit douchebag dumbass dyke ejaculate ejaculated ejaculates ejaculating ejaculation fag fagget fagging faggit faggot faggs fagot fagots fags fatass fatso felatio fellatio fingerfuck fingerfucked fingerfucker fingerfuckers fingerfucking fingerfucks fistfuck fistfucked fistfucker fistfuckers fistfucking fistfuckings fistfucks fuck fucked fucker fuckers fuckin fucking fuckings fuckme fucks fudgepacker gangbang gangbanged gangbangs gaysex goddamn gonads hardon hardcoresex hell homo hooker horniest horny hotsex hussy jackass jackingoff jackoff jack-off jerk-off jism jiz jizm jizz lesbo mothafuck mothafucka mothafuckas mothafuckaz mothafucked mothafucker mothafuckers mothafuckin mothafucking mothafuckings mothafucks motherfuck motherfucked motherfucker motherfuckers motherfuckin motherfucking motherfuckings motherfucks muff nig nigga nigger niggers orgasm orgasms pecker penis phonesex pissoff prick pricks pube pussies pussy pussys queer rape raped retard screw scrotum shit shited shitfull shiting shits shitted shitter shitters shitting shitty sleaze slut sluts smut spunk tit titties titty twat vagina wank whore

      I can understand the school's desire to maintain a certain level of maturity, but this needs to be the job of the parents and teachers, not the technology. As a father of two boys, I want them to have the opportunity to act stupid, so I can correct them and tell them what is and is not appropriate. I don't want a computer enforcing that for me.

      • by RenHoek (101570)

        I see 'niggah' is just fine..

        Related: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-19ioGniZ88 [youtube.com]

        • by BrokenHalo (565198) on Sunday August 28, 2011 @09:12AM (#37233488)
          What I object to here is that the reader is required to log in to a Google account in order to read the list in question. For a summary, that is just plain damn stupid.

          However, some of these words should cause all sorts of innocent amusement. For instance, the word "ejaculated" will not be unfamiliar to readers of Enid Blyton [wikipedia.org], just as the word "bastard" would be equally recognisable to anyone who has studied the lineage of various royal families.
          • by Geoffrey.landis (926948) on Sunday August 28, 2011 @09:48AM (#37233694) Homepage

            However, some of these words should cause all sorts of innocent amusement. For instance, the word "ejaculated" will not be unfamiliar to readers of Enid Blyton [wikipedia.org], just as the word "bastard" would be equally recognisable to anyone who has studied the lineage of various royal families.

            "Ejaculated" as a synonym for "said" has pretty much left the language except for historical use and in bad-writing-contest entries.

            It's hard to see how they can censor "Dick," on the other hand. Some students just can't put their name on homework?

            And several of these words have other uses-- "dike" and "cock," for example. (So, in the New Testament, Peter denies Jesus before a bird-that-can't-be-named crows twice?)

            Hope none of the students write about Dick van Dyke!

      • by Thiez (1281866) on Sunday August 28, 2011 @07:55AM (#37233148)

        Odd that a school would block words like penis and vagina, it seems to me those words would prove quite useful for biology lessons.

        Perhaps the students should just start communicating in Spanish.

        • The Spanish word for vagina is, you guessed it, vagina. That's no help here

        • by NatasRevol (731260) on Sunday August 28, 2011 @08:10AM (#37233216) Journal

          Or use fun words - cock is a male rooster, pussy is a cat, bitch is a female dog, ass is a donkey. Make sure to work them into your essays thoroughly AND appropriately.

          As I walked through the farmyard, the pussy kept rubbing up against my legs, looking for a treat. I finally came to the chicken coop and saw a very large cock on top of the house. Later, I put on my leathers and got my bitch to round up my ass so I could go for a ride.

          • by houghi (78078)

            My Thesis is about censorship in the media and I would like to talk about the 7 words you can't say on television.
            http://www.erenkrantz.com/Humor/SevenDirtyWords.shtml [erenkrantz.com]

          • Not to mention the UK town of Scunthorpe, or my own location of Nigg. (I'm a Niggle, since you ask).
          • by blue_teeth (83171) on Sunday August 28, 2011 @09:04AM (#37233460)

            Heh, reminds me of a joke:

            A Bus stops and two men get on. They sit down and engage in an animated conversation. The lady sitting behind them ignores them at first, but her attention is galvanized when she hears one of the men say the following:

            Emma come first, then I come.
            Then two asses come togeder.
            I come once-a-mora.
            Two asses, they come togeder again.
            I come again and pee twice.
            Then I come one lasta time.

            "You foul mouthed swine" says the lady, "in this country we don't talk about our sex lives in public!"
            "Hey, coola down lady" said the man "I'm a justa tellin' my friend how to spella 'Mississippi' "

          • Classic [bash.org]
            • Someone noted that "beastiality" (sic) is on the list of forbidden words. The irony is that the bible itself mentions bestiality, and I really wish I could see the expression on some "Christian Conservative" parent's face when their child says, "It wouldn't let me write my report about the bible!"
          • As I walked through the farmyard, the pussy kept rubbing up against my legs, looking for a treat. I finally came to the chicken coop and saw a very large cock on top of the house. Later, I put on my leathers and got my bitch to round up my ass so I could go for a ride.

            Heh, that actually got a chuckle out of me :)

          • by Antity-H (535635)

            Coming back from the ride I fixed the failing screw in the kitchen cupboard.

            This world has officially gone mad. It's going to be real fun whey they have to ban milk, stuff, and other very common words which can easily be used with a double meaning....

        • by sconeu (64226)

          Don't forget "homo" sapiens.

      • by Muros (1167213) on Sunday August 28, 2011 @07:57AM (#37233158)

        I can understand the school's desire to maintain a certain level of maturity, but this needs to be the job of the parents and teachers, not the technology. As a father of two boys, I want them to have the opportunity to act stupid, so I can correct them and tell them what is and is not appropriate. I don't want a computer enforcing that for me.

        I am of the opinion that such censorship maintains immaturity. Everyone curses. Learning where it is appropriate and where it is not is a part of growing up, and school children should be able to figure out for themselves where it fits. Certainly I would expect to see many of those words appear in any kind of creative writing homework.

        • by BetaDays (2355424) on Sunday August 28, 2011 @08:09AM (#37233204)
          I agree with you. When people are not allowed to cuss to words that other people find objectionable they start making up words. Just look at how "Frack" is so nicely used now since a TV show started using that instead of what we know it to mean. Also I remember how this one person kept saying "oh Fudge" when they made a mistake. So I think having these Lists only cause more fragmentation of the language in the long run since people will always make up words to get around the "word police".
          • by jbengt (874751)
            I notice that "suck" is not in the list, When I was a kid, you could get your mouth washed out with soap for saying "that sucks" because everyone knew that was short for "that sucks dick" (unless you were talking about a straw or vacuum, which is another issue - a simple match list isn't enough, the context is what gives the letters their meaning). Somehow, "suck" has gradually lost association with its' original derivation and in common use the word's derogatory implications has ended up as its' meaning.
        • by CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) on Sunday August 28, 2011 @08:45AM (#37233348)

          Steven Fry once said (in Paperweight [wikipedia.org] I think) that if we really wanted to stop people using "swear words" we should just use the words for their intended meaning instead of trying to cover our embaressment by using ridiculous flowery language. Eg. just say fuck instead of "making love", say shit instead of "going to the bathroom", etc. The words only have power because we avoid using them.

        • Absolutely...and we need to lose this ridiculous naivety when it comes to kids already. We all either used ourselves or heard in regular usage every one of these words by the time we hit middle school. We survived. It's amazing, really.

          So many people grow up and just forget all those years or something, I don't know. I mean, hell, we used to talk dirty, do drugs and have sex at school, let alone in general. It's part of growing up. Short of locking your kids in a room until they turn 18 and home schoo

      • by Oswald (235719)

        Fortunately, this "technology" is so primitive that it's worse than useless for its purpose. For instance, if I want to know what variant of "mother-fucker" I will slip through the filter, I just scan the list for suggestions until I note that "mothafucka" is blocked, but "motherfucka" isn't. If I have an irresistible urge to blaspheme, I might note that "goddamn" is blocked, but its synonym "goddamned" is not. Also, "Blow me, you dipshit," seems to be A-Okay.

        But, what really sucks about it, as usual, i

        • "Retard" might be an offensive noun, but I don't know anybody who objects to the verb

          It might be hard to write car maintenance manuals if this word is banned.

          However, you might want to ban pencils and paper, because students ahve been known to write rude words and draw pornographic pictures using pencils or, even (shock of shocks) Crayolas!

          Better, ban Litteracy as students might write litter! (You might need to check if the Taliban or Texas School Board already have a patent on that!)

        • by Zumbs (1241138)
          Some time back, I visited a site that censored "naughty" words inside other words. So, multithread became mul***hread ...
          • "You fell victim to one of the cl***ic blunders. The most famous is 'Never get involved in a land war in Asia,' but only slightly less well known is this: 'Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line.'"

      • Bad words are horrible and must be blocked immediately. They will corrupt the minds of the children!

        I can understand the school's desire to maintain a certain level of maturity

        Yeah. Anyone who uses these words is clearly immature. That's my opinion (which makes it a universal fact).

      • by drolli (522659)

        Especially because vagina, scrotum, penis, orgasm, ejaculate, clitoris and anus are in my opinion in no way objectionable. There are a lot of contexts in which using these word in school makes sense. I wonder how to explain plain sexual intercourse, fundamental anatomy and contraception methods without those.

      • by 1u3hr (530656)

        ballsack bastard beastiality biatch bitch

        So if you spell it correctly, you can use "bestiality".

        They block "hell" "cum" (a fine Latin word) "jackass" "retard" "screw"?

        • Frankly, I could see an academic use for any of the words that you quoted. "Ballsack" could literally mean a sack with balls in it, "bastard" could be used in the context of "bastard child," a student might be writing a paper about the bible's treatment of bestiality, "bitch" means female dog and could be appropriately used when talking about dog breeding, and "biatch" is commonly used in rap music, so any student writing a report about rap could potentially use that word.

          I think this list was designed
      • by no-body (127863)

        That spread sheet also contains email addresses:

        hsfilter@northcantonschools.org

        elemfilter@northcantonschools.org

        Maybe time to do some mind sharing - not only with those addresses, but with principles of schools or whoever is behind this shit. Don't have kids a right to free speech?

      • Sounds like they wont be graduating Magna Cum Laude.

      • It's funny, ask most anyone what they think of leet-speak and the shortcuts the younger generation takes in communication, especially someone in the education field, and they will generally think it's the most horrible thing ever to happen to the English language....then, they turn around and put word filters up which, as we all know, are what drives the creation of the leet-speak in the first place.

        Maybe we should just accept that kids talk about inappropriate things with each other and encourage proper sp

    • I suppose the interesting link is the last one, which goes to a Google spreadsheet with the list of custom "objectionable" words. It bounces ingoing and outgoing mails with a list of vulgar terms (a fairly broad one; "hell"? really?). For outgoing mails, it bounces the mail AND sends a copy of it to the staff.

      There is also a list of "concern words" like gun, shoot, knife but also sex, drunk, gay, lesbian (WTF) which get delivered but ALSO copied to the staff address. I assume without notifying the student.

      • The document is indeed very revealing, and damning. It wouldn't fly here in NL either, especially because of the gay/lesbian part.

        I guess one other interesting thing is that this filter is publicly available at all. If we can see it, clearly their students should be able to see it - albeit perhaps not from the school network.

        Which means that kids are just going to go out of their way to either evade the list (rot13 will do), or trigger it creatively in ways that will get calls placed to their parents (who

        • Which means that kids are just going to go out of their way to either evade the list (rot13 will do), or trigger it creatively in ways that will get calls placed to their parents (who, preferably, would be let in on this by the student and will just have a hearty laugh).

          Yeah, if the school called me up and told me my kid was using 'inappropriate' words in a paper, I would just tell them to fuck off.

      • gay, lesbian (WTF) which get delivered but ALSO copied to the staff address.

        That is deeply disturbing.

    • Also, I expected to see a story about their newfangled contraption actually eating homework, given the title. Instead, all we get is a dirty words list (tee hee [icanhascheezburger.com]).

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by BondGamer (724662)
      This is the type of summary we can expect now that Cmdr Taco is gone.
  • I tried to type but after the f and 2 * and K it disappeared. Dam
  • If in doubt, do not use Google Censor.

    But this is just beyond stupid I must say.

    • I would phrase that a little differently.

      "If in doubt, don't censor."

      Censorship is almost never a "good thing", and it's just so easy for it to become a "bad thing". To have your school hovering over you, watching all your emails, your homework, everything you do seems preposterous to me.

  • Took me a while to decode the original article because it manages to wander all over the place.

    Synopsis: The Scunthorpe Problem all over again [wikipedia.org]
  • Just wait for it to fail the breast cancer test and who will take the blame then?

    • $10 says that schools using this censorship system will have special computers that students can use for research that contains words like "breast" or "penis," and that students will have to be supervised while using those computers. I mean, why not train our kids to think that censorship is the norm and that the only way you can get around it is while an authority figure is supervising your work?
      • Yes, because the best way for kids to search for porn is to use the words 'breast' and 'penis'. Give the kids more credit than that, they grew up with computers and are probably capable of getting to porn using only a mouse if you start them on the Google home page.
        • Indeed, but the panic over what children might be exposed to on the Internet has led to censorship being implemented in schools -- and if it were not for that pesky "first amendment," we would have seen a censored Internet nationwide in this country long ago.
  • by uglyMood (322284) <dbryant@atomicdeathray.com> on Sunday August 28, 2011 @08:36AM (#37233304) Homepage
    The objectional word list is hilarious if you imagine it being read by Porky Pig.
  • They blocked 'scrotum', 'screw', and 'gonads'? This ought to make the science and engineering classes interesting.
    • Engineering classes? Before college? Not likely in this country.

      As for scrotum and gonads, I do not recall hearing those words mentioned in any biology and "health education" classes, so I guess that will not be a problem either. If you are reading this and thinking, "What the hell is going on with education over there," you must have not been paying attention -- American education is second rate. Schools in America are really meant to condition people to accept a particular social order and hierarch
  • by Lunatrik (1136121) on Sunday August 28, 2011 @08:45AM (#37233352)
    Banning words is pretty bad, but what do you think the admin staff can do with a "concern" list? If you click through to the North Carolina google doc filter, you get the following set of words:

    gun shoot stab knife kill hurt fight murder attack punch hate suicide cutting drug drugs pot weed marijuana grass blunt toke stoned beer alcohol booze drunk gay lesbian porn sex molest molested molesting naked nude

    Based on the site, admins are forwarded messages with those terms but they are still delivered. If I was a parent I would not let my kids play in this sandbox...

    • I like how "grass" is on that list -- I guess a lot of the school's athletes are suddenly going to have their emails forwarded to the district.
    • by rennerik (1256370)

      What I don't understand is why "gay" and "lesbian" are "concern words." I think that's actually more significant and alarming than anything else.

      With all the bullying going on in schools, and the corresponding suicides that have peppered the media recently (especially of LGBT teens), I think the last thing that needs to happen are for kids to accidentally out themselves or each other to the designated school censor, whomever that might be.

      Why does the North Canton school district feel that they must track

  • I know, it's Sunday, traffic is low, and Google has more servers than anyone. But, I'm watching "Anonymous user xxxx has opened this document" pop up, repeatedly. And, I'm just wondering if we could ever slashdot Google to death. It would be fun to try!

  • Seeing how many people actually read TFA is more interesting than the topic. 2,157 annon viewers and counting.
  • by dpbsmith (263124) on Sunday August 28, 2011 @08:56AM (#37233428) Homepage

    This doesn't look like a case of censoring the Venus de Milo, or blocking email from someone named Scunthorpe, or anything like that. Nor are there obvious political or religious overtones.

    Context matters--what happens to a student who actually uses a "bad" word in an innocent context--"It was a bitch and she had the purtiest coat. I said to the feller owned her, ' When she finds pups,' says I, 'I'd like one.'"--Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, "The Yearling." Or someone who quotes the F-word passage from "The Catcher in the Rye." Or someone who just barely crosses the line in, let's say, a creative writing piece that too-accurately reports the colloquial language of her peers. The actions the school takes matter. But the list itself, as a trigger for action, seems pretty sensible.

    One could easily write an essay on eroticism in Walt Whitman ("I sing the body electric,") or Shakespeare playing to the groundlings ("Spake ye of country matters?"), without violating the list.

    This list doesn't look like ludicrous overreaching to me. I enjoyed my giggles from reading it as much as anyone else, and am amused by its being available in an open Google Docs document. But it doesn't reflect poorly on North Canton schools.

    Any high school student who uses these words in a piece of schoolwork is either committed a mistake--a mistake that could potentially cost them a job if their adult life--or they're engaged in a breaching experiment. Either way, it is perfectly appropriate for the school to take some kind of action.

    • by _0xd0ad (1974778)

      So this one time, I read a book about this kid in Holland who stuck his finger into a queer hole in a dike and probably saved the entire country. Then I went to shop class and screwed a few faggots together (managed to prick my finger in the process). But what do I know, I'm just a stupid homo sapiens. Blue-footed boobies are, of course, naughty, as well as tits, as well as cocks. Wouldn't want anyone seeing a male chicken, for christ's sakes! Ask Dick Cheney, I'm sure he'd agree.

      The list is "perfectly appr

    • by jimicus (737525)

      Did you actually read the list or did you just take a quick glance at it?

      The following sentences could cause a filter to trip:

      "The external male sexual organs - or gonads - are the penis and the testicles. The testicles are enclosed in a sac of skin called the scrotum". (Virtually any biology work concerning sex would suffer equally - "vagina", "clitoris", "orgasm" and "ejaculate" are all in the list).

      "The role of chimney sweep Bert in Mary Poppins was played by actor Dick van Dyke".

      "As part of this woordw

      • Some of us urban dwellers live in a world with a multi-cultural context. Some of us even embrace it. So it strikes me as funny that only English words are deemed worth of being inappropriate.

        I should have taught my son to curse in Spanish.

    • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Sunday August 28, 2011 @09:54AM (#37233734)

      Any high school student who uses these words in a piece of schoolwork is either committed a mistake

      Oh yeah? How about an essay that contains something like this:

      Although it is less relevant in the modern world, the Bible does contain a prohibition on beastiality (sic, the list doesn't spell this word correctly), which indicates that such practices were known among ancient near-east cultures...

      Yeah, it is really a stretch to think that a student would use one of the words on the list in their schoolwork. Many of the words on that list could easily be used in an academic context even at the high school level. A student might be talking about dog breeding and use the word "bitch" appropriately, or might write a report about the history of the gay rights movement which contains various slang words.

      The actions the school takes matter. But the list itself, as a trigger for action, seems pretty sensible.

      It is sensible if your goal is to condition students to believe that censorship is normal and that if you are going to discuss certain topics it must be under the supervision of an authority figure. What do you think reaches students at a deeper level: a class about the US government which happens to cover the bill of rights, or a censorship system that the students must submit to every day? How much respect for freedom of speech do you think these students will have, after spending years dealing with this sort of censorship?

      On the one hand, we criticize the Chinese for doing these sorts of things, we criticize Cisco for providing the necessary equipment, and we encourage people to run proxies and Tor exits. On the other hand, we engage in exactly the same behavior when it comes to our schools and students, we use the same equipment, the same sort of policies, and we discourage students from circumventing the censorship apparatus. What are teachers supposed to say when they teach about current events?

  • I wonder if it matters to the threat scanner that who ever setup the list of threats at North Canton City Schools doesn't know how to spell encrypted.

    .

    And why would a school block .jobs and .museum? It's as if the school district doesn't want their students to find a job or be educated outside the school.

  • All the words in this list focus on swearing and swearing only. The words that can actually cause harm to people, words that can be used to utter threats of violence are left out. There's no blocks on murder, stabbing, pipebomb.

    The only thing I can conclude from their fine list is they don't care if the student's hurt or kill each other or express their desire to do so. They just don't want them to make love.

  • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Sunday August 28, 2011 @09:21AM (#37233530)
    So in other words they are making sure that students can't quote (real) literature? Just about any decent book not intended for Kindergarteners has some swearing in it. Not only that but often schools have students read books with "Nigger" as a main part of the dialogue (Huckleberry Finn, To Kill A Mockingbird, etc.) making it nearly impossible to write an essay on that topic. Or what about quoting Shakespeare, this passage from A Midsummer's Night Dream comes to mind:

    Made senseless things begin to do them wrong; For briers and thorns at their apparel snatch; Some sleeves, some hats, from yielders all things catch. I led them on in this distracted fear, And left sweet Pyramus translated there: When in that moment, so it came to pass, Titania waked and straightway loved an ass.

    Heck, half the comedy in the play revolves around the double meaning of the word ass.

  • Well done on the consent form. Love the way it just drops reference to the real agreement:
    https://sites.google.com/site/wiscgapps/wisconsin-google-apps-announcements/consentformandagreementavailable [google.com]

    Some of the confidentiality agreement is below. Love the way they name Google as "School Official" to mitigate FERPA. I also linked Wikipedia below for CIPA, COPPA, and FERPA. These are federal, not sure what the state laws and guidelines are in Wisconsin.

    Maybe I'm paranoid, and it's okay for targeted
  • There was a 2000% uptick in talk about barriers designed to impound water.

  • by a whoabot (706122) on Sunday August 28, 2011 @10:04AM (#37233806)

    So are no students going to graduate cum laude?

  • by nccstech (2448566) on Sunday August 28, 2011 @10:05AM (#37233814)
    Hey everyone, I am the author of the "bad word" spreadsheet being discussed. I got an email from a slashdot users letting me know about the discussion, so I wanted to share what I can from my perspective on this topic. As usual, there is always a lot more to the story than you will get from just looking at one piece of information (the spreadsheet) and hopefully I can help explain that. You certainly may not agree with what our school is doing (that is fine) but I at least want to make sure you have the full story. Note: In posting this I am not speaking officially for my school district, but am simply trying to explain the situation from my personal perspective. First, it is important to realize that the spreadsheet you see is a work in progress. Up until January 2011 our students did not have school-issued email accounts. This is still a brand new venture for us, and we have been and will continue to modify our policies. I really appreciate the feedback many of you have provided. You have lots of good points that I believe will help us as we continue to develop this. So, first question... how did we come up with this list? We wanted to give students email accounts to help increase communication and collaboration. However, this was something new for our district so we had to be careful when rolling it out. We developed the student email guidelines through meeting, surveys, and discussions with teachers, administrators, guidance counselors, students, parents, community members, and our board of education. The list of what resulted. For the launch of our email system the consensus was to have some sort of word filter, and to keep email sending with out district. Over time I hope we can open up email so students can send outside of our domain as there are obvious benefits for them to be able to communicate with people in businesses and other schools around the world. However, we felt it was best to start out more restrictive, and the work toward more openness over time. Change in a public school system is like steering a large ship with a little rudder. It takes time. There are a lot of people involved and we need to help people along with these changes. Anyway, we made the actual list of "bad words" by working off several other lists provided to us from other schools and organizations that have been doing this themselves for years. We combined their lists and edited it down to what you see. We removed loads of words that did not seem reasonable to filter (you would be amazed at what was on the original lists). We continue to revise the list (again we have only had this for about 8 months) and will certainly run through the suggestion many of the posts here have brought up. Yes, we realize that a filter list is not going to stop inappropriate words. Students can use all sorts of variations. However as a school providing email to children, the consensus of our community to to provide some level of filtering. More than that though, we have added the topic of responsible use of technology to our curriculum so we can help our children work through this topic. Again, thanks for your feedback, and feel free to ask me additional questions. Eric
    • by _0xd0ad (1974778)

      Interesting. Thanks for stopping by and inviting conversation.

      I do have a few questions though. What does the filter do? Does it block the words, or flag them for review? Does it search for exact words, or would it ban words-in-words such as "multithreaded" and "cumlative"? Are you going to have to come up with an exception list to un-ban those words?

      Personally I disagree with censorship, because it's always going to be a losing battle: too little benefit, too much cost.

    • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Sunday August 28, 2011 @10:44AM (#37234030)

      you would be amazed at what was on the original lists

      I am amazed at what remained on your list. What were you thinking? Not only did you block large numbers of works used in a typical biology textbook, you even managed to block words that would be relevant to bible discussions.

      However as a school providing email to children, the consensus of our community to to provide some level of filtering.

      So you are training your children to accept censorship and to run to authority figures whenever they need to discuss certain topics? If your school district were in a country like China or Myanmar, this policy might make sense.

    • by dstar (34869)

      So, do you have an excuse for having 'gay' and 'lesbian' on the 'concern words' list?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by SPrintF (95561)

      Um. Dude. Paragraphs.

  • The real story here is: never ever EVER farm your software tools out to "the cloud" . It's URL filtering all over again.
    Feel free to reply with your remote-control-of-your-car analogies :-)

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